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how can I help my sil with her ocd which is starting to impact on my family and her relationship with my dc?

(4 Posts)
bluebell82 Tue 16-Aug-11 18:31:07

my sil had her ds 4 months ago and she is suffering from ocd. She has self diagnosed as she has not yet been to see anyone. her behaviour from the outside seems just a little irractic in terms of excessive hand washing, hand gel not letting anyone hold him for longer than 2 mins etc, refusing to go into the doctors due to catching something, won't go on public transport, no activites including other children such as playgroups, swimming, refusing to give him calpol as she is positive there is something detrimental to him in the medicine, washing toys excessive etc. her husband had a cold recently and according to my mil he was not allowed out of the bedroom for 3 days as she was concerned about cross contamination.

we are all due to go on holiday, originally she was not coming which i know sounds dreadful but i was quite relieved mainly because of the pressure her behaviour puts on my mil. she is now coming on the advice of her husband and he has said that everyone will help her which is fine.

They were so excited about the up and coming birth etc and saw a lot of their auntie however since the birth and the lack of contact due to her becoming reclusive they don't seem to have much of a bond left, we saw her on sunday for an allocated twenty minutes as that is all she can cope with seeing us and the kids were herded in and expected to be all kisses and cuddles, which they basically weren't because of the situation. i have tried to be as positive as possible but i am sure they can sense the negative atmosphere.

i know my sil is not wanting to feel like this, and i want to do everything possibly i can to help so thats why i've tried to give a really honest background, i would really appreciate some help on how to deal with this and help her through the holiday, however i am conscious that i have two dc to look after as well.

thanks in advance xx

byt the way she has an appointment with her health visitor as she has refused contact with them and her midwife, but is now seeking advice on her ocd from them, this sis not until after the said holiday

NanaNina Tue 16-Aug-11 18:46:26

Oh what an awful situation for your SIL and her baby, partner and rest of family. Your description certainly sounds like "textbook" OCD. I am not a medic btw, but have read a great deal about this because I have a friend whose daughter has the condition and I am there to support my friend. It sounded from your post but I may be wrong that these mental health problems came after the birth of the baby? Is there any possibility that PND could be an issue too. Is any particular reason why your SIL will not seek medical attention, presumably from GP, HV and MW but glad that she has
appt with HV.

I'm really sorry that I don't have any advice I can give really. My friend's daughter (who is 25) has suffered this condition for about 4 years. She does all the repetitive stuff but she also has really distressing thoughts going around in her head for significant periods of time. As I say I just support my friend, and listen to how she is feeling - like your SIL, her daughter is most reluctant to seek medical advice, but has done I think very recently but don't het know the outcome.

I honestly don't know what the treatment is for OCD - whether meds and or therapy can help. I am on the MH thread because of depression. Don't honestly know how you are going to handle the holiday - hope it's only for a week and not in a tent!

bluebell82 Tue 16-Aug-11 18:55:19

thanks for your response, i had pnd with my first dd and ended up hiding it for 6 months, then broke and had cbt and citilopram to help me, didn't have it with dd2, but still on AD and have no desire to come off them due to my anxiety so sil knows i have been in a similar boat but its so much more frustrating when you have been there and the other person is so reluctant to seek support.

I'm dreading the holiday for selfish reasons for my children, my eldest is very very intuitive and said auntie xxx thinks i'm dirty mommy, it upsets me because my kids are like new bloody pins, but at the same time i understand her pain, but just wish somehow she wasn't channeling the negativity to my dds, they are so used to babies as a lot of my friends have babies at the moment which is making it difficult to understand why they can only look at the cousin in the car seat.

Sil has had ocd on and off for years i'm just praying she gets it managed before she pushes people away x

ps you are a good friend to your friend x

NanaNina Tue 16-Aug-11 19:04:31

Phew........do you have to go on this holiday. It sounds to me like a recipe for disaster, especially as your SIL is affecting your children so much, which could be emotionally harmful to them. Glad you are staying on meds - I am too, as too scared to stop them due to horrendous major episode of depression last Easter and 3 month stay in psych ward.

If your SIL has had OCD for years (without treatment?) the chances of her "getting it managed" seem a bit remote. I can see you care about her pain but I think you must put yourself and your children before your SIL and not go on this holiday. What if the stress triggers anxiety for you. You are not being selfish - you are mostly concerned about the effect on your children.

Is this SIL your H/P's sister or your brothers Partner/wife. If she is your H/P's sister, what is his view of the situation about the holiday and would he agree with you not to go for the reasons you have stated. Likewise would your brother understand if she is his P/wife?

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